Ronald Belisario continued his walk on the wild side on Saturday morning as the Dodgers dropped the opener of their day-night doubleheader to the Orioles 7-5 at Camden Yards. Nolan Reimold hit a two-run single off Belisario that proved to be the game-winning hit.
Paco Rodriguez allowed a double to Chris Davis, the first extra-base hit he has allowed in his brief career, but was then pulled in favor of Belisario, who has been inconsistent this season and allowed eight of his previous 13 batters faced to reach base. The tale of the game can be told in the tale of two relievers and inherited runners.
Brian Matusz stranded two in the seventh for the Orioles, and since his conversion from starter to reliever last season has stranded all 21 of his inherited runners.
Belisario has inherited six runners this season, and all six have scored.
But how did they get here?
Hyun-jin Ryu couldn't hold, and the Dodgers couldn't add to, a 4-0 lead.
Andre Ethier got the Dodgers off to a good start in the first inning when, with two runners on base, he rocketed a two-out home run onto Eutaw Street beyond right field for a quick 3-0 lead. The Dodgers' first three-run home run of the season came on a fitting day, as the Orioles will honor the late Earl Weaver before the second game of the split doubleheader on Saturday night.
The Dodgers made Jason Hammel throw 32 pitches in the first inning, and 51 pitches through two innings as they added another run in the second on a Mark Ellis sacrifice fly. But Hammel found a way to get through six without allowing another run, while the Orioles chipped away.
Chris Davis singled to open the second inning and J.J. Hardy followed with a line drive into the seats in left field to cut the 4-0 lead in half. Reimold homered in the fourth inning to pull the Orioles to within 4-3, but at that point Ryu had six strikeouts and two walks and was doing a good job of keeping Baltimore off balance.
Baltimore completed their comeback in the sixth inning off Ryu, with a fly ball gift single to right field and a double to open up the inning. The Orioles cashed in both runners in scoring position with a fly ball and a single to take their first lead of the game at 5-4.
The Dodgers rallied in the seventh inning when Mark Ellis singled, then advanced to third base on Matt Kemp's second infield single of the game, one that got away from second baseman Alexi Casilla. A wild pitch scored Ellis to tie the game at 5-5, but the Dodgers were looking for more.
Oriole manager Buck Showalter intentionally walked Adrian Gonzalez to put runners on first and second base with one out, then brought in the left-handed reliever Matusz. Up first for Matusz was Ethier, who struck out, but then Ramon Hernandez crushed a pitch to left field that Prime Ticket announcer Eric Collins, and I, thought was gone, but the ball ended up in the glove of Reimold for the final out of the inning and the end of the threat.
Jim Johnson retired the Dodgers in order in the ninth to end the game.
The Dodgers try to snap their five-game losing streak in the second game of the doubleheader Saturday night, with Josh Beckett facing Wei-Yin Chen.
Game 1 particulars
Home runs: Andre Ethier (2): J.J. Hardy (3), Nolan Reimold (2)
WP - Darren O'Day (2-0): ⅔ IP, 1 strikeout
LP - Paco Rodriguez (0-1): 1 batter, 1 hit, 1 run
Sv - Jom Johnson (7): 1 IP, 1 strikeout